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Literature / The Intruders

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The Intruders is a 2006 teen horror novel by E.E. Richardson. It revolves around the children of two families — Joel and Cassie Demetrius and Tim and Damon Wilder. Their parents are engaged and the book starts with all of them moving in together into a derelict old house that's been neglected for decades. Cassie is dead set against the move and refuses to even acknowledge the other family while often clashing with Damon. Joel and Tim try to keep the peace, which isn't easy when the two of them start having nightmares about being chased through the house. Joel is also convinced that he keeps seeing other boys in the house, and the rest of the children slowly begin to realise that their house may be haunted.

No relation with the 2015 Canadian film The Intruders or another 2015 film, Intruders. It is also unrelated to the BBC series Intruders.


This novel provides examples of:

  • All Girls Like Ponies: The first time Cassie is even remotely positive is wondering whether or not someone breeds horses nearby.
  • Berserk Button: At first for Cassie it's Damon using the word "sister".
  • Big Brother Bully: Mostly averted since Damon and Tim have a very good relationship, but Damon does shut Tim inside a cupboard in the attic.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Damon has this for Tim. Joel develops a similar thing for him even though they're closer in age.
  • Bitch Alert: Cassie's first lines in the book are "what a dump".
  • Bloody Handprint: Joel has visions of seeing one in the master bedroom. It's revealed to be of the murdered Victoria Hawkins, and it was the first thing her sons found.
  • Brick Joke: Gerald casually mentions that the cellar is too small. At the end of the story, it's discovered that there was an extra wall built in the cellar for obvious reasons.
  • Cerebus Retcon:
    • An immediate example. The kids find Damon reading a Dr Seuss book in the library, which Cassie finds funny until this line:
    Damon: Tim, remember when Mum used to read these to us? Before she got too sick.
    Tim: I don't remember, sorry.
    • Likewise, the seance scene starts out comically with Damon pretending to be the ghost and trolling everyone. Then it turns out to be real all along.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The writing "Michael H" in the cupboard in the attic eventually helps Joel to realise the two boys were related to Victoria Hawkins.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Damon and Cassie, when they're in good moods, are both very snarky. When they start getting on, they engage in Snark-to-Snark Combat.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Cassie begins the book rude and apathetic to her new stepfamily, at one point stating she's going to pretend they don't exist. She warms to Damon and Tim as the story goes on.
  • Disappeared Dad: Joel and Cassie's father walked out on them when they were young. Cassie claims to remember him despite being only a year older than Joel.
  • Everybody Lives: Although the ghosts terrorize the house, all four children and their parents make it to the end safely.
  • Freudian Excuse: Damon is a bit rough and it's understandable when you find out about his mother. Joel also explains that Cassie is aggressive because she's been used to having their mother to herself and isn't ready to share her just yet.
  • Ghostly Chill: The house has a habit of going cold whenever something happens.
  • Gone Horribly Right: Cassie's joke at attempting a seance actually ends up causing the ghosts to communicate with them.
  • Haunted House: Well duh. The ghosts are of the two children who lived there previously and were murdered by their stepfather after he also killed their mother.
  • Happily Married: Amanda and Gerald are on their way. Not so much Patrick and Victoria.
  • A House Divided: Inverted. Cassie and Damon are at each other's throats to start off with but the haunting brings them together.
  • Improbable Infant Survival: Averted and played straight. The ghosts are of two murdered little boys, but the children themselves survive.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Damon and Cassie are both aggressive and acerbic characters, but care unambiguously for their younger siblings. And eventually for each other, too.
  • Missing Mom: It's implied that Tim and Damon's mother died of an illness.
  • Paranormal Investigation: In a variation, the kids do this themselves instead of calling anyone.
  • Save the Princess: Conversed when Joel tries to cheer Cassie up and suggest she pretend she's a princess and a prince will come to rescue her. Cassie's response is that she'll punch him in the stomach and steal his horse.
  • Shout-Out: Damon remarks that this is remarkably similar to an episode of Scooby-Doo. They also find him reading some Dr Seuss in the library.
  • Slap-Slap-Kiss: A sibling-related variety. Damon and Cassie's relationship evolves into this.
  • Smart People Play Chess: Cassie, the smartest of the kids is a great chess player.
  • Spooky Photographs: Joel finds a whole collection of photos of the killer.
  • Supernatural-Proof Father: Damon fills this role as the oldest of the siblings; he's skeptical about the ghosts more so than his siblings.
  • Things That Go "Bump" in the Night: Joel, and Tim it's later revealed, hear sounds of things bumping around.
  • Tsundere: Cassie is incredibly tsuntsun when it comes to the Wilders but Joel knows about her deredere side. Amusingly enough her deredere side comes out around Damon while she's pretending to be tsuntsun.
  • Wicked Stepmother: Averted with Amanda and Gender Flipped with Patrick Sanderson.